Excerpts from the writings of Archbishop William Ullathorne (1806-1889), first Catholic bishop of Birmingham, England.
From the moment of His conception He had already made His oblation, for as St. Paul says: ‘Coming into the world, He said, A body you have fitted to me. Holocausts for sin did not please you. Behold I come. In the head of the book it stands written of me: that I should do your will, O God’ (Heb 10:5-7). And Mary was the most pure temple in which the great High Priest made His offering. There He had first offered up that blood, there He first offered up that flesh, of which He said at a later time: ‘If you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you shall have life. As the Father lives in me, and I live by the Father, so he who eats me, the same shall live by me’ (John 6:55-58).
But now it is in a far more intimate and constant way that Jesus lives by Mary, and Mary lives by Jesus. Oh, who can tell that mystery of life? Who can comprehend that union between the two hearts of Jesus and Mary? Everyone can understand how much He has been enriched through the heart of His mother, and how His noblest sentiments have been derived from her. But who can understand how Jesus enriched the heart of Mary in that incomparable union? For, next to that union by which Jesus is God and man in one person, there is no union so intimate as that of a mother with a child. The Saints are his brethren by adoption, but Mary is His mother by nature. They have affinity with Him, but she holds with Him the first degree of a relationship through blood. Her graces, then, are quite another order than that which sanctified the very holiest of Saints…Mary is a summary of all the truths of the Gospel, displays all the graces of her Son, strikes down countless errors, and puts sin, and the author of sin, beneath her stainless feet.